Preliminary results of the DOMPET study for shelters in Spain and LatinAmerica

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas.

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Authors: Núria Querol Viñas MD MSc BSc 1, Àngel Cuquerella MD MSc BSc  2 ,  Frank Ascione PhD 1 , Sònia Pujol 3, Angelo Puccia 4, Anthony Pinizzotto PhD 5, Federica Gradante BSc 4, Stefan Bogaerts PhD 7

1 Founder of GEVHA, Fellow IHAC University of Denver, Colorado, USA, Ass. Researcher Chair "Animals and Health", Dep. Psychiatry and Legal Medicine UAB, Comission Against Family and Gender Violence, University Hospital Mútua Terrassa, American Society of Criminology, The National Link Coalition

2 Institute of Legal Medicine, Catalonia

 

3 Officer of Autonomic Police of Catalonia, Mossos d'Esquadra

4 Director FDE Institute of Criminology of Mantua

5 Clinical Forensic Psychology Associates, LLC. Former Senior Scientist and clinical forensic psychologist assigned to the FBI’s Training Division, Behavioral Science Unit (BSU)

6 Tilburg University

Collaborators: David Carrasco, Officer of Autonomic Police of Catalonia, Mossos d'Esquadra; Pedro J. Moratalla UPROMA, Local Police of Castelló

Keywords: Animal abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, intimate partner violence, neglect, shelter


Objectives


Animal abuse, cruelty and neglect are often considered  isolated incidents wholly separated from other forms of family  violence. Today, professionals involved with victims of family  violence are not surprised when they learn that often these  acts are linked, and that various agencies are working with the  same families. The overall target of the DOMPET project
"The prevention of animal abuse and domestic violence" is to  understand underlying factors of this phenomenon to become  more insights into the processes of animal abuse and domestic  violence in terms of prevention.


Method


We recruited for the preliminary results of the first phase  71 shelters via e-mail from Spain,. Colombia, Chile, Argentina, México, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela. Respondents were  directors (CEOs), communication directors, adoption managers. The respondent had to fill in an on-line questionnaire and we analyzed the data afterwards. At present date (June 2013), we have recruited 88 shelters.

Results


We asked shelters what percentage of animals have been  abused or mistreated (with the exception of abandonment):  38.0% of the shelters reported that between 25-50% of their  animals have suffered violence. About 79.3% have  acknowledged a link between family violence and animal  abuse (if we evaluate the 78 shelters, the figure is 76.6%).  Although 73.9% do not have an agreement with  women shelters yet. Only 6.9% of the shelters do, and the rest  are working in establishing a common protocol. In 6.1% of  the shelters, women are allowed to visit the animals in case she  had to leave the companion animal temporarily. 67.1% of the  shelters report to law-enforcement agencies if they identify a  case of animal abuse. When asked if they believed animalassisted therapies may be beneficial for victims of domestic  violence, 93.9% agree.

MChart


Discussion


Violence to animals within the context of domestic violence,  previous studies reveal that 71% of pet-owning women  entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge  or to psychologically control victims; 32% reported their  children had hurt or killed animals. 68% of battered women  reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and  coerce them. Mistreating animals is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe. Our results are consistent with the findings from previous studies. State laws against animal cruelty have been toughened and now widely include felony provisions based on research indicating the risk to human safety that animal abuse can cause. Many states in the USA now allow judges to include pets in protection-fromabuse orders in domestic violence hearings. There are no similar measures in any of the countries that responded and no shelter that allows women to keep their companion animals on-site, which would definitely diminish the victimization while keeping the human-animal bond. Other new laws encourage or require professionals in several disciplines to report suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities without fear of civil or criminal liability or of violating confidentiality constraints, but such measures have not been implemented in these countries yet. There is a growing body of research in several disciplines that are publishing compelling research describing The Link and its many manifestations. These reports are making their way into mainstream media to increase community awareness and build additional credibility for the ways that animal abuse, domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse are often interrelated.

 References

 

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QUEROL ET AL. Antecedentes de crueldad hacia los animales en una muestra de población penitenciaria médicoforense Revista Española de Investigación Criminológica 1696-9219 9(), 12-34 (2011 6 de junio de 2011.

 

QUEROL ET AL. Programa de Atención Multidisciplinar a Mujeres Víctimas de Violencia y sus Animales de Compañía Revista Española de Investigación Criminológica, Número 9 (2011) ISSN: 1696-9219 6 de junio de 2011.

 

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Querol, N. et al. Preliminary results of the DOMPET study for shelters in Spain and LatinAmerica.  Book of Abstracts of the II° International Congress of the Advanced High School of Criminological Sciences - CRINVE 2013. ISBN 978-88-97378-02-0

 


 

Shelters and Associations who have participated in the survey:

ADANA BADAJOZ (ASOCIACIÓN PARA LA DEFENSA DE LOS ANIMALES)

Adopta un Amigo en Gran Canaria

AMBITAMA

AMBITAMA

AMICS DELS ANIMALS DE LA NOGUERA

Anahí

Angeles de mascotas

ANIMALS SENSE SOSTRE

APADAT Toledo

APPA La Madriguera

Aprobe

Arconatura

ASOCIACION AMIGOS DEL PERRO

Asociación Ladridos Vagabundos

ASOCIACION PROTECTORA DE ANIMALES DE RAUCH

ASOCIACIÓN PROTECTORA DE ANIMALES EN LA RIOJA- APARIOJA

Asociación Protectora de Hurones SOSHurones

Asociación y Albergue CYD Santa María

ASOKA EL GRANDE

Associació Protectora La Vall d'Albaida

CONCIENCIA VERDE CORRIENTES

D.A.R Animal Rescue

Daniela

El Cau Amic

El gato andaluz

FUNDACIÓ FAUNA

FUNDACION AMIGOS DEL PERRO DEL PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS

Fundación FAADA

FUNDACION TORTUGAS

IVONNE PEREZ MARACAY VENEZUELA

La Faunita Trato Digno

Lupyta

Mas Amor Animal Lujan

Médico veterinario Diana Bastons

Mirada Animal Toledo

PATAS VDR

PATAS, Asociación para el bienestar de los animales de Cantabria

Patitas

Progat Catalunya

Protectora EL COBIJO Cañada Hermosa

Refugio animales de Cambados

Refugio canino San Vicente, protectora Patitas sin Rumbo

RODAMONS DE RUBI

S.O.S. ADOPCIONES

Sociedad Protectora de Animales y Plantas de Madrid

Voluntarios independientes por los Animales de Trelew


 

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